Kansas Motorists: Are you Safe on the Road?

Each day, people spend a considerable amount of time either driving a vehicle or riding in a vehicle as a passenger. Whether it is traveling to work, picking up young children from school or sports practices, or even a trip to the grocery store, the time spent on the road can really add up. With so much time spent driving, it is no wonder why so many drivers try to multi-task while driving. Despite the fact that a large percentage of drivers engage in these driving “extra-curricular activities” on a regular basis, it still leaves an even larger percentage of drivers feeling a bit uneasy on the roads, and rightfully so.

Distracted driving is not only a risky behavior, it can also be deadly. Motorists who are distracted have an increased likelihood of being involved in accidents. It is estimated that more than nine people are killed each day on U.S. roadways in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. The number of people injured in distracted driver related accidents exceeds a 1,000 people per day.

One of most popular driving extracurricular activities has recently become talking on a cell phone. However, talking on a phone is not the only behavior that can distract a driver. There are a multitude of activities that drivers engage in each day that either take a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off of the wheel or mind off of the task at hand. The following are some not-so “innocent” activities that can interfere with a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle:

  • Talking to passengers
  • Eating or drinking
  • Watching a video
  • Managing in car technologies, such as using a navigation system
  • Watching or trying to tend to children and their needs
  • Grooming, such as applying make-up or combing hair
  • Reading or using a map
  • Adjusting a cd player, radio or MP3 player
  • Watching or communicating with children
  • Writing and sending text messages
  • Emailing or using the internet on a cell phone, laptop, or tablet.

Texting while driving has become such a distracting and thus hazardous activity, that 47 states and the District of Columbia have put into place some type of law either restricting or banning the practice of texting while operating a motor vehicle. Both Kansas and Missouri are states that have such laws in place. Only three states have no laws in place that ban or restrict texting while driving. These states include Arizona, Montana and South Carolina. The states that do have laws on the books regarding texting and driving are far from uniform. For example, in Kansas it is illegal for all drivers to text while driving, whereas in Missouri, texting is only banned for “novice” drivers or drivers under the age of 21.

Texting while driving is considered one of the most distracting activities that a driver can engage in because it requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from a driver. Since texting and driving is against the law, Kansas drivers need to pull off the road if they want to read or send a text message. There are two exceptions to the relatively new law. Drivers are allowed to read emergency traffic and weather alerts and to report a crime. Otherwise, all texting is banned while the motorist is on the road. This includes if the vehicle is stopped at a red light or stop sign, or if the driver is at a standstill in traffic.

The sad fact about car accidents is that the vast majority are preventable. Nearly all motorists believe that texting and driving are a dangerous combination. Yet almost half of those people will admit to texting will driving. Remember that no text is worth causing injury or even death to you, your passengers and your fellow motorists. Driving is one the most dangerous activities that most people engage in on a daily basis. Do your best to make sure that the road is a safer place.

If you have been hurt or injured in a motor vehicle accident as the result of a distracted driver you need the assistance of a seasoned Kansas personal injury attorney. With over 35 years of experience, attorney Charles E. Whitman of the Whitman Law Offices is dedicated to helping accident victims. Call us today at (785) 843-9460 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Lawrence. However, if your injuries prevent you from traveling, arrangements can be made to meet at your home. Our team of compassionate professionals will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve.

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